Meet our Team 

Innovation Academy University College

Meet the innovation experts of UCD Innovation Academy, including leading academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.

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    Meet our Team 

    Meet the innovation experts of The Innovation Academy UCD, including leading academics, entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, agricultural innovators, and design thinking practitioners.


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    Professor Suzi Jarvis
    Founding Director

    Professor Suzi Jarvis has been at the forefront of research, innovation and education in Ireland and abroad. She is the founding Director of the Innovation Academy at University College Dublin and Chair of Biophysics with a multidisciplinary research team based in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

    See more of Suzi’s story here.

    suzi.jarvis@ucd.ie

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    Barbara Diehl
    Executive Director

    Barbara’s extensive experience in entrepreneurship and innovation is based on over 10 years of working in various knowledge transfer settings, seven of which alone in the field of entrepreneurship and venture creation at the University of Oxford’s Entrepreneurship Centre (2008-2015).

    See more of Barbara’s story here.

    barbara.diehl@ucd.ie



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    Raomal Perera
    Industry Expert

    Raomal Perera is a veteran of multiple entrepreneurial ventures and an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD where he currently teaches and studies entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies. He was one of 40 entrepreneurs worldwide chosen to the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) as a technology pioneer.

    See more of Raomal’s story here.

    raomal.perera@ucd.ie


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    Colman Farrell
    Industry Expert

    Colman Farrell co-founded the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and Suas, the educational charity. He was Vice Chair of Dóchas (the association of Irish NGOs).From 2004 to 2012 he was CEO of Suas. Previously he was Development Manager at Enterprise Ireland, before which he a software development manager leading a team at General Electric Global exchange Services.

    See more of Colman’s story here.

    colman.farrell@ucd.ie


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    David Price
    Industry Expert

    David Price is a senior associate at the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit enterprise committed to solving social challenges around the world. For the past 10 years, Price has led numerous international education projects, culminating in the writing of his acclaimed book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future. In June 2008, he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to education.

    See more of David’s story here.



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    Brendan Allen
    Industry Expert

    Brendan is an entrepreneur, farmer, and marine scientist. He and his brother established Castlemine Farm, a small luxury foods business. Castlemine Farm has won the Food Writers’ Guild and Bridgestone awards and recently opened a new production plant to deliver luxury cooked goods. Previously, he was the senior research officer at GMIT Marine and Freshwater Innovation Centre.

    See more of Brendan’s story here.

    brendan.allen@ucd.ie



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    Iseult O’Siochain
    Senior Programme Manager

    Iseult started her career in film & television as an assistant director and production manager on a wide range of productions including the award winning feature film Adam & Paul (2004). Following on from this, as senior project manager in Martello Media she produced museum and visitor exhibitions for clients including the National Library of Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse.

    See more of Iseult’s story here.

    iseult.osiochain@ucd.ie

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    David Nevin
    Business Development Manager

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy David worked in business development and events management roles with several education and health focused non-profit organisations Ireland, India and Australia enabling these organisations to raise €2.3m from corporate, public and private philanthropy.

    See more of David’s story here.

    david.nevin@ucd.ie


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    Bruno Marcorio
    Marketing & Programmes Administrator

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy Bruno worked as a Communications Consultant for the AIDS department of the Ministry of Health in Angola, and one of his accomplishment was to design and implement the first official training program for HIV/AIDS activist, part of an UNAIDS intervention in the country.

    See more of Bruno’s story here.

    bruno.marcorio@ucdconnect.ie


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    Maurice Knightly
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    He is currently a director of several companies ranging from food and catering to new media. From 1992 to 2009 he was deputy managing director of the O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars franchise, responsible for operations, training, marketing and purchasing. He worked to grow the chain to 282 outlets in 10 countries and developed the brand’s initial presence in each new market.

    See more of Maurice’s story here.

    maurice.knightly@ucd.ie


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    Fergal Brophy
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Fergal co-founded Open Financial Services in 2000. Open is a Worksite Marketing company that provides financial advice to employees of Ireland’s leading multi-nationals including Apple, EMC, Dell, Oracle, Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan, PwC, KPMG, Pfizer, Merck, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

    See more of Fergal’s story here.

    fergal.brophy@ucd.ie


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    Dr Eileen Diskin
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eileen started her career as a wilderness guide in the Alaskan wilderness, and became a conservation naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation before working as a field archaeologist. Eileen founded BiodiversityInOurLives.com, an initiative whose pilot project was a set of biodiversity beermats that featured in pubs across Dublin.

    See more of Eileen’s story here.

    eileen.diskin@ucd.ie

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    Ferdia Mac Anna
    Teaching Facilitator

    Ferdia has worked as a lecturer in TV Production, English Literature and Creative Writing. He is also a director and producer of Film and TV, novelist and screenwriter. He has taught Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Scriptwriting and TV and Radio Broadcasting for over twenty years at DCU, Trinty College, NUI Maynooth, DkIT and IADT.

    See more of Ferdia’s story here.

    ferdia.macanna@ucd.ie

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    Alison Coleman
    Teaching Facilitator

    A graduate of the Innovation Academy with a Certificate in Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UCD, 2015), Alison is passionate about delivering a transformational programme focused on creativity, design thinking and entrepreneurial concepts.

    See more of Alison’s story here.

    alison.coleman@ucd.ie



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    Niall Walsh
    Teaching Facilitator

    Niall Walsh is a Teaching Facilitator at the Innovation Academy, UCD. Prior to the Innovation Academy, Niall spent four years working with the Riverside Education Foundation in India, one of the world’s most innovative K-12 schools, with design thinking at the heart of its approach. He taught Global Perspectives and English Literature there, alongside developing curriculum for both citizenship and sports programs. He then worked with Philips Amsterdam, developing and implementing a 70/20/10 learning strategy for marketing employees.

    See more of Niall’s story here.

    niall.walsh@ucd.ie

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    Francis Kelly
    Teaching Facilitator

    After graduating with a B.Comm from UCD, Francis undertook a series of internships through AIESEC, the international business students’ network. His first internship was in Hong Kong, followed by Japan and, finally Malaysia. He is a graduate of The Innovation Academy as well as the founding director behind Hennessy & Furlong.

    See more of Francis’ story here.

    francis.kelly.1@ucdconnect.ie


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    Professor Suzi Jarvis
    Founding Director

    Professor Suzi Jarvis has been at the forefront of research, innovation and education in Ireland and abroad. She is the founding Director of the Innovation Academy at University College Dublin and Chair of Biophysics with a multidisciplinary research team based in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

    See more of Suzi’s story here.

    suzi.jarvis@ucd.ie

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    Barbara Diehl
    Executive Director

    Barbara’s extensive experience in entrepreneurship and innovation is based on over 10 years of working in various knowledge transfer settings, seven of which alone in the field of entrepreneurship and venture creation at the University of Oxford’s Entrepreneurship Centre (2008-2015).

    See more of Barbara’s story here.

    barbara.diehl@ucd.ie



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    Raomal Perera
    Industry Expert

    Raomal Perera is a veteran of multiple entrepreneurial ventures and an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD where he currently teaches and studies entrepreneurship, innovation and the management of rapidly growing companies. He was one of 40 entrepreneurs worldwide chosen to the prestigious World Economic Forum (WEF) as a technology pioneer.

    See more of Raomal’s story here.

    raomal.perera@ucd.ie


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    Colman Farrell
    Industry Expert

    Colman Farrell co-founded the School for Social Entrepreneurs, and Suas, the educational charity. He was Vice Chair of Dóchas (the association of Irish NGOs).From 2004 to 2012 he was CEO of Suas. Previously he was Development Manager at Enterprise Ireland, before which he a software development manager leading a team at General Electric Global exchange Services.

    See more of Colman’s story here.

    colman.farrell@ucd.ie



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    David Price
    Industry Expert

    David Price is a senior associate at the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit enterprise committed to solving social challenges around the world. For the past 10 years, Price has led numerous international education projects, culminating in the writing of his acclaimed book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future. In June 2008, he was awarded the O.B.E. for services to education.

    See more of David’s story here.



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    Brendan Allen
    Industry Expert

    Brendan is an entrepreneur, farmer, and marine scientist. He and his brother established Castlemine Farm, a small luxury foods business. Castlemine Farm has won the Food Writers’ Guild and Bridgestone awards and recently opened a new production plant to deliver luxury cooked goods. Previously, he was the senior research officer at GMIT Marine and Freshwater Innovation Centre.

    See more of Brendan’s story here.

    brendan.allen@ucd.ie



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    Lorna Maguire
    Senior Programme Manager

    Before joining The Innovation Academy, Lorna was Programme Manager and Development Manager at The Digital Skills Academy. She is an entrepreneur and cultural curator, and co-founded the 3D graphics consultancy ALL3D, and Open House Festival of Architecture Galway, the leading architectural event on the West Coast.

    See more of Lorna’s story here.

    lorna.maguire@ucd.ie


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    Iseult O’Siochain
    Senior Programme Manager

    Iseult started her career in film & television as an assistant director and production manager on a wide range of productions including the award winning feature film Adam & Paul (2004). Following on from this, as senior project manager in Martello Media she produced museum and visitor exhibitions for clients including the National Library of Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse.

    See more of Iseult’s story here.

    iseult.osiochain@ucd.ie


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    David Nevin
    Business Development Manager

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy David worked in business development and events management roles with several education and health focused non-profit organisations Ireland, India and Australia enabling these organisations to raise €2.3m from corporate, public and private philanthropy.

    See more of David’s story here.

    david.nevin@ucd.ie


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    Laura Thorp
    Executive Assistant

    A graduate of the Innovation Academy in 2017, Laura founded and ran Laura’s Bakery Ltd. from 2004-2009 supplying cafes in Ireland and the UK. She won the WMB Breakthrough award 2007, the WCEB Excellence in Enterprise Award 2008 and has guest lectured in DIT on entrepreneurship. She has also been a costume designer working with Showtime, RTE, the OPW and The National Trust.

    laura.thorp@ucdconnect.ie



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    Bruno Marcorio
    Marketing & Programmes Administrator

    Prior to joining The Innovation Academy Bruno worked as a Communications Consultant for the AIDS department of the Ministry of Health in Angola, and one of his accomplishment was to design and implement the first official training program for HIV/AIDS activist, part of an UNAIDS intervention in the country.

    See more of Bruno’s story here.

    bruno.marcorio@ucdconnect.ie


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    Maurice Knightly
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    He is currently a director of several companies ranging from food and catering to new media. From 1992 to 2009 he was deputy managing director of the O’Brien’s Irish Sandwich Bars franchise, responsible for operations, training, marketing and purchasing. He worked to grow the chain to 282 outlets in 10 countries and developed the brand’s initial presence in each new market.

    See more of Maurice’s story here.

    maurice.knightly@ucd.ie


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    Fergal Brophy
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Fergal co-founded Open Financial Services in 2000. Open is a Worksite Marketing company that provides financial advice to employees of Ireland’s leading multi-nationals including Apple, EMC, Dell, Oracle, Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan, PwC, KPMG, Pfizer, Merck, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

    See more of Fergal’s story here.

    fergal.brophy@ucd.ie


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    Dr Eileen Diskin
    Entrepreneurial Specialist

    Eileen started her career as a wilderness guide in the Alaskan wilderness, and became a conservation naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation before working as a field archaeologist. Eileen founded BiodiversityInOurLives.com, an initiative whose pilot project was a set of biodiversity beermats that featured in pubs across Dublin.

    See more of Eileen’s story here.

    eileen.diskin@ucd.ie


    Alt Text
    Ferdia Mac Anna
    Teaching Facilitator

    Ferdia has worked as a lecturer in TV Production, English Literature and Creative Writing. He is also a director and producer of Film and TV, novelist and screenwriter. He has taught Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Scriptwriting and TV and Radio Broadcasting for over twenty years at DCU, Trinty College, NUI Maynooth, DkIT and IADT.

    See more of Ferdia’s story here.

    ferdia.macanna@ucd.ie

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    Alison Coleman
    Teaching Facilitator

    A graduate of the Innovation Academy with a Certificate in Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (UCD, 2015), Alison is passionate about delivering a transformational programme focused on creativity, design thinking and entrepreneurial concepts.

    See more of Alison’s story here.

    alison.coleman@ucd.ie



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    Niall Walsh
    Teaching Facilitator

    Prior to the Innovation Academy, Niall spent four years working with the Riverside Education Foundation in India, one of the world’s most innovative K-12 schools, with design thinking at the heart of its approach. He taught Global Perspectives and English Literature there, alongside developing curriculum for both citizenship and sports programs. He then worked with Philips Amsterdam, developing and implementing a 70/20/10 learning strategy for marketing employees.

    See more of Niall’s story here.

    niall.walsh@ucd.ie

    Alt Text
    Francis Kelly
    Teaching Facilitator

    After graduating with a B.Comm from UCD, Francis undertook a series of internships through AIESEC, the international business students’ network. His first internship was in Hong Kong, followed by Japan and, finally Malaysia. He is a graduate of The Innovation Academy as well as the founding director behind Hennessy & Furlong.

    See more of Francis’ story here.

    francis.kelly.1@ucdconnect.ie


    David NevinInnovation Academy Team